More than 400 assisted living and memory care communities in 38 states — the top 1% nationwide — have been honored for service excellence in the annual Caring Stars award program. This special distinction was the first of its kind in the senior living industry, using ratings and reviews from residents, families, and senior care experts on Caring.com to identify the best communities. The program is now in its third year and was recently recognized in the 2013 National Mature Media Awards for serving the informational needs of older adults.
More than four years ago, Caring.com was among the first websites to offer senior care reviews. We saw the opportunity to use real reviews from real people to help families find the best senior living communities for their loved ones. We now know that assisted living and memory care listings with reviews get more leads: 14 TIMES more leads than listings without reviews. We also know that listings with the Caring Stars badge get more move-ins: 13.7% more move-ins than listings without the award!
See who won this year: Caring Stars of 2014
To qualify, communities had to have met the following criteria:
- Three or more reviews from December 1, 2012 – December 1, 2013; at least one of those reviews having with the highest rating of five stars
- An average overall rating (across all reviews on their listing) equaling greater than 4 stars
- No unresolved negative reviews
Caring.com reread and reexamined the validity of every review on each finalist’s listing, reconfirmed other data on each listing, and did our best to determine that the communities truly deserved this prestigious and rewarding distinction.
Some of the Ways Caring Stars Are Celebrated
Each year, Caring Stars communities are:
- Profiled in local and business press
- Promoted on the Caring.com website and social media
- Discussed in senior housing referral calls with our Family Advisors
- Given certificates for their lobbies and award badges for their websites and marketing materials
- And more!
Among the winners featured in their local newspapers so far this year:
- Atria Willow Glen: San Jose Mercury News’ San Jose Neighborhoods
- Sun Towers Retirement Community: Tampa Tribune’s The Sun
- Shadowmoss Plantation Memory Care Community: Savannah Morning News
- Fox Hollow Senior Living: The Pilot
- Spring Hills Middletown Assisted Living and Memory Care: Journal-News
- Blue Bell Place: Ambler Gazette
- Crimson Pointe Senior Living: The Rock River Times
- Dodge Park Rest Home: Worcester Telegram
Winners have been showcasing the Caring Stars honor on their social media profiles and websites, too:
- AutumnGrove Cottage blog post
- Golden Orchard badge on website with link to Caring Stars reviews
- Aspen House Memory Care website announcement
- Mustang Creek Estates badge on website with link to Caring Stars reviews
- Dodge Park Rest Home press release
- LiveWell Assisted Living website announcement
- The Fountains at Rivervue badge on website with link to Caring Stars reviews
- New Hope Valley post on Facebook
- Blue Bell Place badge on website with link to Caring Stars reviews
- Warren Care Services website with link to Caring Stars reviews
- The Willows at Meadow Branch badge on website with link to Caring Stars reviews
- Hidden Meadows on the Ridge website announcement
- Broadmore Senior Living at York badge on website linked to Caring Stars reviews
- The Birches at Arbour Square website article and Facebook page share
- Greenwood Place Retirement website article
- Abbey Park at Mill River post on Facebook
- The Bristal Assisted Living blog post
- And others too!
With so many listings and so many reviews on Caring.com, we launched the Caring Stars program as a great way to help families narrow their choices to the best of the best and quickly find the right assisted living or memory care community for their senior loved ones. Each year since we started, the winner list has organically grown, and the excitement and positive outcomes from the award have grown as well.
Why Online Reviews Are So Valuable
Over the last few years, there have been many studies across different industries that have highlighted the importance of online reviews and the impact they’re having on consumers’ search and purchase process. Online reviews are considered “earned media” or organic publicity, and for 92% of consumers globally, this word-of-mouth information is significantly more valuable and more trusted than the marketing and advertising information presented about products and services. Online reviews are also directly impacting purchases: 80% of consumers report that they’re more likely to buy a product when they can find and read reviews about it.
In recent research Caring.com conducted, 60% of family caregivers indicated that they used the Internet in researching senior care service providers, and two-thirds took to the Web after noticing signs of memory loss in a loved one. A combined 94% of family caregivers reported that they found online reviews to be trustworthy and helpful to their search for senior care providers, and only a small minority of 6% tended not to believe this online word-of-mouth.
Online reviews provide firsthand experiential insights that are not only helpful to the family caregivers and seniors visiting Caring.com but are also being used by Caring’s family advisors during calls with adult children and seniors seeking assisted living. Family advisors read reviews from Senior Care Directory listings during calls and also mention the Caring Stars award and what it means about the quality of the winning community’s services, when they are making senior living referrals and scheduling tours matched to the caller’s needs and preferences.
Congratulations to all of the Caring Stars winners for earning high praise in reviews on Caring.com!
More information about the program, and winners from years past, can be found in the Caring Stars info center on Caring.com.
Winners: If you have questions about the marketing materials and special promotions for your award, please do get in touch with the Caring.com team. We also invite you and your staff to take a photo with your framed lobby certificate and send it to us for sharing on our social profiles.